Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Darkness Visible

This is remembrance day, and here is a poem about the cost of war and the suffering of the innocent. For it is always the innocent who suffer.

In so many wars and conflicts, neighbour turns against neighbour, as happened in Rwanda, in Bosnia, is still  is even now happening in parts of Thailand, where Buddhists and Muslims who have been neighbours for years now are polarised against each other. Elsewhere, the fight for power, as in the Congo and Sudan, leaves millions displaced in starvation conditions.

Today is a day for remembering those who died to make the world a safer place, and I would not belittle that, but it is also a day for remembering the innocents, caught up in conflicts that are not of their making, but for which they have to pay a heavy price.

Darkness Visible

War torn, rockets raining down
Upon the innocent, here a crown
Of thorns on many heads; times
Of fear and courage oftentimes
Entwined into a tapestry of days;
And where will come the rays
Of dawn? Here darkness visible
Across the land, an intangible
Shadow falling in some hearts
As these grow so cold in parts:
Hardened against reaching out,
Instead, enraged, they shout
Their anger. Cain killing Abel,
His own brother. Another fable
Tells of Babel, of many voices,
But no listening, so no choices,
As each person rants unheeding
And so very deaf to the pleading
Of the mother, of the small child
Crying out in pain. They are defiled,
And innocents massacred once more,
By those who wage a bloody war,
By those who claim to be so right,
They will not cease an endless fight.
They claim that God is on their side,
But it is untrue. For he does hide
Among the poor, who suffer hurt
His face, starved, ravaged. Assert
This: not in brute power his grace
But bleeding, with a wounded face.

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